Saoirse Ronan Leaves The Hobbit While Hugo Weaving Joins

Although Peter Jackson is filming The Hobbit in New Zealand at the moment, casting changes are on the board. Sir Ian McKellen has conrfimed on his blog that Hugo Weaving has been cast as the elf Lord Elrond, while Martin Freeman is fulfilling a standing engagement:

“Martin Freeman has left The Hobbit. This is not another April Fool, just a May Fact.  Before signing as Bilbo, Martin had agreed to make three 90-minute TV films in London, again playing Dr Watson to Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes.  No worries: he’ll be back in Middle Earth after our first hiatus, during which Peter Jackson will have spare time to edit the scenes already completed.  The rest of the cast remains on duty for another few weeks, working on hobbit-less sections of the film.  These involve dwarves of course but also elves, with Hugo Weaving back for a stretch as Lord Elrond.”

The entry goes on to say that Sylvester McCoy will be playing Radagast the Brown and Bret McKenzie will be playing an elf named Lindir.  As noted, Martin Freeman is only taking a break from The Hobbit and will return later.  As for actors leaving the cast for good, Saoirse Ronan officially stated that she will not be participating in the film. Ronan is just interested in other projects and their scheduling is a problem:

“It’s probably not going to work out with The Hobbit unfortunately. Because I would have been working for about a year on it and there were other projects that I was very interested in, but Pete and [his producer wife] Fran have been very good about it and very understanding.”